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SpeakOut is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. SpeakOut articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.

Hybrid cars are obviously more efficient and more eco-friendly than conventional vehicles powered by gasoline, as they are powered by an electric motor, in addition to an internal combustion engine. The electric powertrain helps improve the car's fuel economy, and reduce emission levels. This is why hybrids are considered to be a better option than conventional cars for those who want to save money on gas and help reduce air pollution. But, as with all other vehicles, hybrid vehicles' fuel economy is not the same when driving in the city and on the highway. While gasoline-powered cars are more efficient on the highway, hybrids get better mileage and emit less harmful gases when driving in the city.

Jan 13

Are You Holy Enough To Be a Republican?

By James and Jean Anton, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

Are you holy enough to be a Republican?  We’ve developed a checklist to simplify the process of finding out.  Check each of the following items with which you agree.  By tallying the checks and using the guide at the end of the essay, you will find out if you qualify.

Jan 11

CWA: Fast Track is the Wrong Track

By Larry Cohen, SpeakOut | Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C.  – Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen today made the following statement in response to the bill introduced by Sen. Max Baucus and Rep. Dave Camp calling for “fast track” authorization for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):

“Fast track is the wrong track when it comes to a trade deal like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that will affect our laws, our jobs, our food and our environment. Fast track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, forces Congress to give up its Constitutional right to amend and improve this trade deal, which now is reportedly more than 1,000 pages long.

Jan 11

Call for Immediate Aid to Syrians Dying of Starvation Due to Siege

By Staff, Syrian Nonviolence Movement | Press Release

TOMORROW -- Friday, January 10, at 10:00 a.m. -- a working group of leaders representing the Syrian American Medical Society, the Syrian Nonviolence Movement and the Minnesota-based Friends for a NonViolent World will hold a press conference in the United Nations Plaza to announce an International Solidarity Hunger Strike for Syria, a major global campaign, and to demand the lifting of the starvation sieges of dozens of Syrian towns that are preventing hundreds of thousands of Syrians from eating or getting medical treatment.

Jan 11

Corporate Political Disclosure Rule Effort Applauded

By Staff, Corporate Reform Coalition | Press Release

The Corporate Reform Coalition applauds the 79 members of Congress, led by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), who today sent letters from their respective chambers urging Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White to reinstate the corporate political spending rule on the agency’s agenda. The agency also should do significant work in the interim by doing such things as holding roundtables on the topic.

New York - After making national headlines for his support of medical marijuana, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State only briefly mentioned his medical marijuana plan. Cuomo administration officials said that the program would involve distributing medical marijuana through 20 hospitals statewide, and the Department of Health would be charged with promulgating regulations.

After losing a lucrative job in 2001 in San Francisco, Ted decided, instead of moving home, to live in Hong Kong, where he fell in love.

“I come home, but not frequently,” said the 34 year old, who hails from Minnesota. “My life is here now.” (Ted didn’t want his last name to be used because of privacy concerns.)

Leading scholars, peace advocatesand artists from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia today released the attached statement opposing the construction of the new U.S. Marine base at Henoko, Okinawa, planned by the US and Japanese governments as a replacement facility of Futenma airbase located in the middle of Ginowan City. Their statement urges “support for the people of Okinawa in their struggle for peace, dignity, human rights, and protection of the environment.”

A lot of crucial stories got ignored this year. Here are perhaps the most important ones.

1) Unarmed man killed by FBI -   http://huff.to/1h9WcGV
2) AG Holder not going after big banks -   http://bit.ly/1cRb3UT
3) Big banks are just a money grab -   http://bloom.bg/147N3UQ
4) The pie chart that destroys climate change denial -   http://bit.ly/1fWFhnu
5) More about the TPP and TTIP corporate coup -   http://www.flushthetpp.org/
6) Outro music by Sierra and The Nomads -   http://www.sierraandthenomads.com/

Jan 09

"Cruzing" Past the True Meaning of Citizenship

By Dallas Darling, SpeakOut | Op-Ed

When U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced he had hired lawyers to denounce and get rid of his Canadian citizenship, it made one wonder if the Republican Party is not only the party of death, but an extremely exclusionary, reactionary sect within a state.

The same gloomy political party that vilified the estate tax, calling it “death taxes,” and that is warning of an Obama-apocalypse, by continually referring to “death panels” and a “death spiral,” has now pressured Senator Ted Cruz to forgo his dual citizenship.

The very first societies were actually families, then the tribe, then the village, and then the state. The concept of citizenship, or belonging to a state, did not exist and evolved only in relation to draconian leaders and oppressive institutions that seized “natural” liberties.